Communicating for Influence and Impact

Develop your communication skills to influence change within and beyond your organisation.


8 weeks, excluding


8–10 hours per week,
entirely online

Learning Format

Weekly modules,
flexible learning

This course is for you if you’re:


  • In a leadership or managerial position and looking to communicate effectively and influence stakeholders
  • Interested in achieving meaningful change within your team and organisation through successful collaboration and communication
  • Looking to improve communication and influence to inspire others to drive innovation, sustainability, and positive change in your organisation
  • In a new role or interested in moving into a new position and would like to enhance your collaboration, leadership, and communication skills for influence and impact

Course outline

Over the duration of this online short course, you’ll work your way through the following modules:

Module 1: The need for impactful communication
Gain insight into how communication can be used to create change in a volatile, uncertain and increasingly complex world.

Module 2: The role of communication in shaping society
Gain insight into how communication can be used to build more inclusive communities.

Module 3: Attributes of an effective communicator
Explore the attributes that contribute to becoming an effective influencer.

Module 4: Communicate effectively using listening and storytelling
Examine different communication approaches and techniques.

Module 5: Purpose-driven communication and influence
Learn how embedding purpose and cultivating organisational culture can affect change within an organisation.

Module 6: Influence change within and beyond your network
Explore how communication can be used to influence change within and beyond your network.

Module 7: Collaborating to achieve impact
Gain insight into how to achieve cooperation with stakeholders through effective communication.

Module 8: Maximising your influence and impact
Reflect on your Personal Impact Plan and create a network of your peers.

You'll walk away with:


The knowledge and tools to improve your storytelling, collaboration and communication strategies to persuade and influence at all levels in your organisation.


A Personal Impact Plan to maximise your influence and achieve meaningful change within your network.


Enhanced insights into your purpose as a leader, and how to align this with your communication strategy.


The ability to drive impact at a systems level via listening, collaboration, and engagement – all key attributes to communicating and influencing positive change.

Course convenors

Zoë Arden

Fellow and Associate Director, Leadership,
University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

Arden specialises in leadership, stakeholder engagement, and storytelling. Before joining CISL, she served as director of SustainAbility (a global think tank and advisory firm) and as the director of communications and social responsibility of British Telecom. She has also held the position of managing director of the global communications consultancy Golin, among others. Arden draws on three decades of global business experience, 13 years of which were spent in managing director/director roles in complex organisations. She is also a co-author and contributor of research and reports on leadership development.

Martin Roberts

Director of Digital Learning,
University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

Roberts is a programme director at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, where he helps companies with a global reach to derive value from embedding innovative approaches to sustainability across their organisation and their supply chains. Roberts has extensive experience working with companies and NGOs on sustainability challenges, with particular expertise in the food, agricultural, utility, tourism and extractive sectors. He has lived in several African countries working with governments and the private sector to tackle the resource challenges of today and the future.

University of Cambridge
Institute for Sustainability Leadership


The Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) is an institution within the University of Cambridge. Its mission is to empower individuals and organisations to take the lead in tackling critical global challenges. By offering supported, interactive online short courses, CISL takes its knowledge and purpose to a worldwide audience.

Accreditation Logo

This course is certified by the United Kingdom CPD Certification Service, and may be applicable to individuals who are members of, or are associated with, UK-based professional bodies. The course has an estimated 80 hours of learning.

Note: should you wish to claim CPD activity, the onus is upon you. CISL and GetSmarter accept no responsibility, and cannot be held responsible, for the claiming or validation of hours or points.

An online education that sets you apart

This CISL online short course is delivered in collaboration with online education provider GetSmarter. Join a growing community of global professionals, and benefit from the opportunity to:


Gain verifiable and relevant competencies and earn invaluable recognition from an international selection of universities, entirely online and in your own time


Enjoy a personalised, people-mediated online learning experience created to make you feel supported at every step


Experience a flexible but structured approach to online education as you plan your learning around your life to meet weekly milestones

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